Recruitment Matters June-July 2020

Page 1


Recuiters’ key role in the recovery p2 BI G TALKI NG POI NT

Prepare for life a er lockdown p4

Recruitment Issue 86 Ma ers June-July 2020


How to make redundancy decisions p6 PRODU CTS AND TRAI NI NG

Upcoming training and events p8

Pandemic response

Recruitment industry steps up to the Covid-19 challenge

one year. • The 100% business rate discount was extended to many employment businesses in England. • The government turned its a en on to key issues around how to fire up the economy again, including credit insurance.


ovid-19 has tested the resolve and resilience of recruiters across the country. Despite the biggest crash in demand for staff in the 22-year history of the Report on Jobs, the recruitment industry has stepped up and demonstrated the transforma ve role it plays across the country in good mes and in bad.

Impact on policy Policy makers have recognised the expert insight that recruiters bring to the table. Working across industry with other sector organisa ons, we secured the Coronavirus Job Reten on Scheme, the Business Interrup on Loan scheme and business rate support to help firms through this unprecedented crisis. The Chancellor specifically thanked


business groups for their support. In early May, the REC hosted a Zoom conference between recruitment business leaders and Nadhim Zahawi, Minister for Business and Industry, to discuss how to make government support work more effec vely for agencies and temporary workers. This dealt par cularly with the hot topic of holiday pay on furlough, and par cipants urged the government to publish further advice. Other areas in which the recruitment industry has had a big impact in recent weeks include: • The digital right to work and DBS checks were given the thumbs up. • New IR35 rules on taxing contractors were deferred for

Impact on the frontline The recruitment industry is responsible for helping millions of people to find jobs in organisa ons that need their skills every year. Covid-19 brought that important role sharply into In early May, focus as recruiters launched the REC campaigns to mobilise thousands hosted a Zoom of workers into frontline roles – in conference with Nadhim hospitals, supermarkets, food and Zahawi, drink manufacturers, and logis cs Minister for Business and companies, among others. Industry There will be lessons from Covid-19 for our own industry and for the whole country. One of these is that the recruitment industry has a bigger impact when we all work together. Record numbers of people are Introducing using resources on our website, the REC’s new including our Covid-19 hub, and website, making we’ll con nue to support the it easier to get industry to thrive and help the what you need. country recover.

Making great work happen

Leading the industry

the view... Recruiters have a key role in the post-Covid-19 recovery, says

Neil Carberry,

REC Chief Execu ve


s I write, May is ge ng under way. We’re well into the lockdown and the indicators from the government’s daily briefing cau ously suggest the peak of Covid-19 infec ons may be behind us. We are turning our a en on to what recovery looks like. Be er days will come, but the shape of the recovery – and our new normal – are both up for debate. We explore that in the Big Talking Point on p4. The recovery might be more of a ck shape (the 'Nike Swoosh', as economist Rain Newton-Smith puts it) than a fast bounce-back. It is likely to be much more robust than a er the Great Recession of 2008/9. Being ready, and ge ng close to clients’ changing needs, is the priority for many REC members now that cashflow planning is done. When the dust se les, big commercial and government debates will con nue. The pause caused by coronavirus is likely to amplify changes already happening, leading to a more digital, automated, dispersed and flexible workforce. Our industry has a major role in helping companies and workers to make that transi on. There are also powerful lessons for poli cians and business leaders about security, sustainability and ethics. Chancellor Rishi Sunak has talked about tax changes and I expect to see shi s in regula on and welfare rules too. The idea of a new deal at work is likely to gain trac on. We shouldn’t fear that debate – our industry promotes prosperity and should be at the heart of this new deal. But we must set out why that is. As the crisis passes, this must be the longer-term mission of the REC.

“The pause caused by coronavirus is likely to amplify changes already happening”

If you want to keep up to speed with all things recruitment then follow me on Twi er @RECNeil


Recruitment Ma ers June-July 2020


New normal prioriঞes Sophie Wingfield, Head of Policy at the REC, outlines the top post-crisis challenges


t takes a while for a new government to get into the mindset of governing, and for the opposi on to get hang of campaigning. In the policy world we are experiencing something similar. Covid-19 changed the policy landscape and the issues we thought we would be deba ng now have changed. Some themes remain, but we’ll be looking at the policy landscape through a different lens: • Tax. The government will be looking at tax to recoup the costs of coronavirus support. IR35, affec ng how we tax contractors, hasn’t gone away. Ensuring the new tax landscape is fair is an important challenge. • Regula on and enforcement. We want the government to priori se the regula on of umbrella companies, and to take a sensible approach to enforcement generally – par cularly given the number of policies rolled out fast during the crisis. • Employment schemes. Ensuring that employment schemes to deal with job losses work with our industry to kickstart the economy is a top priority. • Skills and future of jobs. Covid-19 has accelerated changes already happening. It’s great that the Department for Educa on has launched an online portal for skills training. The recruitment industry has an important role influencing these changes. • Immigra on. The government has promised a new system in January 2021. We’ll be calling for a delay, so the new system can take into account the impact of Covid-19 on the economy. The recruitment industry is ideally placed to help kickstart the economy. We’ll make sure the government works with us, so businesses can reopen and people get back into work.

Leading the industry

the intelligence... Major trends to watch as the labour market recovers By Josh Pren ce, REC Research Officer recovery to be spread over many months and shaped more like a Nike ‘swoosh’ than the le er V, as she outlined on an REC podcast.

The coronavirus pandemic has had an enormous and rapid impact on the jobs market. As we think about recovery, it’s important to look at the trends and ask what these mean for how we work in the coming months. Employer confidence fell The first major trend was the big drop in employer confidence and hiring as the crisis hit the UK. Business confidence in making hiring and investment decisions fell by 37 percentage points between February and the beginning of April, according to the REC’s JobsOutlook survey. The number of permanent and temporary placements and new job pos ngs also fell significantly. The good news is that once the economy opens up, employers will start hiring again. However, we should not expect this rise to be as quick as the ini al fall. Economists such as the CBI’s Rain Newton-Smith expect the


Business confidence in making hiring and investment decisions fell by 37 percentage points between February and the beginning of April

The impact on different industries While the economy and jobs market as a whole declined, there were big varia ons between industries and occupa ons. Demand for staff in the health and care sector rose in March and April. According to labour market analysts Emsi, almost 2,000 online job pos ngs for care workers were added between 7 March and 15 April. Meanwhile, demand fell in almost every other sector, with retail, hospitality and construc on among the hardest hit. The number of online job pos ngs for sales and customer service occupa ons fell by 37% between 7 March and 15 April, more than any other occupa on. Again, we expect to see these areas recover as the lockdown is li ed and construc on sites and

What are employers doing to support the mental health of their staff during Covid-19 Mental Health Awareness Week kicked off on 18 May. With so many of us working from home in lockdown, three in four employers are worried about staff performance and wellbeing. Here’s how they’ve responded.


have allowed staff more flexibility to deal with sickness in the family.

67% have run virtual staff socials. 61% have reached out to

vulnerable staff on a personal level.


have offered more flexible working arrangements, such as flexible hours.


circulated informa on and exercises promo ng wellbeing to staff. Survey of employers in the Good Recruitment Collec ve, conducted between 1-15 April

2,000 online job pos ngs for care workers were added between 7 March and 15 April

retailers return to work. Other sectors, such as hospitality, will probably take longer, if they cannot reopen fully while social distancing measures are in effect. Recruiters’ role in the recovery As we emerge from this crisis, agencies have a huge part to play. Some industries will recover faster than others, and many people will want to move into new roles and sectors. Recruiters can help these transi ons by iden fying transferable skills and recognising alterna ve op ons. Their insights will be invaluable to clients looking to hire quickly and kickstart opera ons. This crisis will end. As an industry we can show the world the value of good recruitment by preparing to help businesses and the economy recover.

Overall, employers are confident about the future How confident are you that the economy and your business will bounce back?

14% Very confident 79% A li le confident– it will take me

7% Not at all confident JobsOutlook survey, conducted between 1-9 April

June-July 2020 Recruitment Ma ers


Back to work

big talking point

Life a[er lockdown

What will change about how we work a er the Covid-19 pandemic? And what role will recruiters play in helping to rebuild our businesses?


he global coronavirus pandemic has turned everybody’s lives upside down. Never before have economies across the world shut down to this extent in peace me. Recruiters have already played an important role in helping frontline industries respond to the crisis. As we come out of lockdown, we must help businesses to get back up and trading. We’re just star ng to see what this new world might look like, but the outlook may con nue to be hazy for some me. The million-pound ques on is what will recruiters need to offer their clients and candidates to help them thrive again?


percentage point fall in confidence about hiring and investment decisions between March and April, reaching a record low of -21.

250,000 fewer online job pos


between 7 March-1 April.

-47.1% fall in hiring rates in recrea


travel roles adver sed.

-25.8% fall in entertainment roles

adver sed.


of surveyed businesses in the UK con nuing to trade reported that their turnover had decreased by more than 50% from 6-19 April.


of key workers said their work was impacted by Covid-19 – 39.6% of these said they were concerned about health & safety. 4

Recruitment Ma ers June-July 2020

How did we get here? A few months ago, business was booming. The labour market was flying high and most people’s worries were about skills shortages. How fast things change. The REC’s Report on Jobs in May showed the steepest decline in permanent appointments and temp billings in the survey’s 22-year history. The REC’s 'JobsOutlook' survey showed the biggest drop in employer confidence in the economy, although respondents were more posi ve about prospects for hiring in the near future. Some sectors have suffered par cularly badly – the retail, travel, hospitality and entertainment sectors have been hit hard with thousands furloughed or made redundant. The path ahead looks difficult, with poli cians sugges ng that venues such as pubs and theatres may not open un l the end of the year. By contrast, employment in sectors such as healthcare, food and drink manufacturing, and logis cs is holding up well. Regions are also affected unevenly. London, with large numbers of employees in financial services, has seen a drama c increase in homeworking.

On the other hand, regions more dependent on tourism, factory work and sales have suffered terrible job losses. What can recruiters do? During the crisis, many recruiters stepped into the breach. Ini a ves such as Feed the Na on UK (#feedthena on), run by Staffline Recruitment and PeoplePlus, offered interviews and free online training to find a large, temporary workforce for supermarkets and farms. Many other recruiters offered their professional services to frontline industries such as healthcare on a not-for-profit basis, helping to ensure vital workers were in place quickly where they were most needed. In the longer term, however, we will need to innovate to help UK businesses reboot, meet new areas of demand, and help people in struggling sectors to recognise their skills and find work. How will life a[er lockdown look? Nobody can say for certain, but here are some indica ons. Neil Carberry, CEO of the REC, is certain that the role of recruiters must become “much more strategic than what went before”

Top ps for thriving a er lockdown

and they will need to offer clients more advice and support. It will be some me before many businesses restart full opera ons. Some sectors will emerge quickly, while others will have to circumnavigate social distancing requirements and border controls. The government’s policies on health and its support for employers will influence the ac ons, performance and staffing requirements of many organisa ons for the foreseeable future. Recruiters in all sectors need to watch closely and plan for the best- and worst-case scenarios. Chris Moore, chair of the REC and CEO of Let’s Be More, points to three important factors that will affect recruitment in the near future. First, any regula ons imposed by government in response to the crisis, such as new tax rules. Second, new informal rules set by society, such as distancing and working from home. And third, the way businesses in every sector respond to this new order. “The new normal for recruiters will be set in this landscape, and the successful ones will be those quick to grasp this and evolve accordingly,” he says. Long-term sectoral changes could be accelerated by the crisis – the airline industry, for example, may never return to pre-Covid-19 ac vity because of environmental targets and employers’ increased

use of conferencing tools. Other sectors' experiments with automa on could accelerate shi s in staff requirements. A higher level of service Simon Conington, CEO of BPS World, says that Covid-19 signals “a world with more flexibility about where and when people are working and more blurred boundaries between work and home ac vity”. To respond to this, he says recruiters need to increase their ac vity and level of service to succeed. “Recruiters need to educate themselves and offer advice if they want to be a recruitment ‘consultant’. “This advice should be based on factual research mixed with a recruiter’s insight and interpreta on,” he adds. He recommends asking customers more about the insight they require and passing on informa on about trends and examples of best prac ce. For recruitment trends and insight check the REC website. Heather Salway, HR director at nGAGE Specialist Recruitment, argues that recruiters will need to be more client- and job-focused. “If there are fewer vacancies available, the recruiters that win will be the ones with the strongest client rela onships, as clients will turn to the recruiters they trust,” she says. “Managing costs through this transi on phase will be

• Reflect on your strengths. • Consider how you can do what you are the best at. • Create mul ple plans and use scenarios to assess possibili es. • Review data from credible sources. • Establish closer rela onships with clients, take me to understand their thoughts and ideas, and the pain points they an cipate. • Stay close to clients without pestering them. Allow them to buy what they need, when they are ready. • Ensure you can work remotely and flexibly and assume your clients can too. • Watch and learn from the most-affected sectors – your clients may be next. • Stay on top of costs and conserve cash. • Analyse your business from all angles and decide what to stop doing, what to change or start doing and what to con nue. • Don’t ignore the candidates – recruiters with the best will differen ate and win. • Help clients understand how to a ract and retain the best talent. Work with clients to refine their Employee Value Proposi on. • Help clients to understand their workforce needs and provide the best ways to deliver the people they require, at the right me. challenging as we try to strike a balance between what the business needs during the ‘ramp-up’ phase and ongoing cost commitments,” she warns. A new start? Chris Moore suggests that recruiters see this as “an opportunity for a new start – very few sectors will simply release the pause bu on pressed in March 2020 and carry on from where they le off”. He recommends asking ques ons including: Which sectors and segments will you focus on and why? What size and shape should you be to thrive in the new normal (which may involve tough decisions)? And when will business levels rise again in your sector? What is clear is that all recruiters must look ahead and ask which skills will be needed in their ‘new normal’, where the demand will come from and where the people with these skills will be found. The answers may be very different from a few months ago. June-July 2020 Recruitment Ma ers



legal update What to consider when you have to make redundancies By Jane O’Shea, Solicitor at REC


hen the economy was paused, the Coronavirus Jobs Reten on Scheme was introduced to save jobs and businesses by covering 80% of the wages of furloughed staff. This level of support is unprecedented, but it is temporary. The economy will return to growth, but not overnight. At the me of wri ng, the scheme is set to end fully in October. When it does, many employers will face difficult choices, and some will have to make people redundant to stay profitable. Here are some issues they should consider. What is redundancy? Redundancies occur when an employee is dismissed because there is no longer a need for them to do their job. There can be several

Want to be your own boss? By Nathan Golby, Director, Flo Backoffice Solu ons


Recruitment Ma ers June-July 2020

“Redundancy is genuine only if the job no longer exists”

reasons for this. In the near future, it is likely to be because employers need to cut costs or close businesses. A redundancy is genuine only if the job no longer exists. Redundancies should always be the last resort and dealt with sensi vely.

What to consider Employers must have good reasons to make redundancies and must follow fair procedures. They must: • Consider offering alterna ve employment and voluntary redundancies. • Issue as much warning as possible and start a consulta on with employees. • Select the posts to be made redundant fairly. • Have an appeals process for employees who feel they have been selected unfairly. Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ me? Recruitment is a versa le industry, so you’ll never be short of op ons – including se ng up your own business. Moving from being a recruiter to a owning a recruitment business is no simple feat. Your experience in recruitment is a benefit, but driving your business from the front seat takes much more than determina on. In uncertain mes, it can be tricky to take this leap, but there are companies that can support you, despite external unknowns. Four things to keep in mind when planning your transi on. 1. Access to reliable market insights. It’s important to keep up to date, but it’s even more crucial not to become too absorbed in news updates. Maintain a balanced

Who is redundant? If a business needs to make people redundant to con nue trading, it must use a fair and unbiased selec on process. This should consider each person’s: • Standard of work. • A endance records. • Disciplinary records. • Skills, qualifica ons and experience. • Teamwork and co-opera on. Diverging from objec ve criteria could lead to a claim for unlawful dismissal or discrimina on. Redundancy pay Employees who have worked con nuously for an employer for at least two years are en tled to contractual or statutory redundancy pay. If the employment contract does not cover it, the redundancy payment is statutory and the amount depends on the employee’s weekly pay, age and length of service. Look at the government’s redundancy calculator here. Employers should get legal advice to understand their obliga ons, employees’ rights and fair procedure. The REC legal guide has a selec on of FAQs on this topic and our legal helpline will answer specific queries.

perspec ve. Focus on key facts from reliable sources. 2. Think long-term. Difficult trading condi ons can offer genuine business opportuni es. These may require an open mind, diversifica on or a new focus, but those who are proac ve can reap rewards. Maintaining a long-term view can add las ng value. 3. The numbers game. Focus on the figures – stay lean and keep a clear account of costs, spending and longer term forecasts to ensure your business remains viable. 4. Keep your contacts book up to date. Rela onships are essen al. Talk to peers, reach out to a mentor and communicate with poten al clients and candidates to ensure a quality sales pipeline.

Inspira on


Behind the scenes with recruiters on the front line

Ciara Campbell, Head of Healthcare, MPA Recruitment in

Northern Ireland, on lessons from the Covid-19 crisis Your six offices provide staff for private and NHS healthcare organisa ons. How has the pandemic affected you and the way you work? Our whole team is working at home giving an around-the-clock service to provide urgently needed frontline healthcare staff. We’ve adapted amazingly well in an incredibly short me to meet rapidly increasing and changing demands. We have to comply with stringent standards, and a few months ago I would have been worried about not being able to meet poten al workers face to face, but it’s worked brilliantly. We’re onboarding about 30 people a week and it’s taking us about 10 days, where it used to take up to six weeks. All interviews are now done by video and all our training is online. It helps that DBS and ID checks have been accelerated,

as has the registra on process with the Northern Ireland Social Care Council.

So business is booming? Not en rely. We’re extremely busy recrui ng frontline healthcare staff and are working with our clients to understand what they need from us. One private healthcare organisa on has asked us to take on all its recruitment ac vity, which is a huge job. We hope to develop these closer partnerships beyond the crisis. Fortunately, we decided to introduce online training as part of our expansion plans in January and this has helped us to ramp up our opera ons quickly. However, we have also had to divide our workers into those who go into Covid-19 wards and those who work in the community and in care homes in order to protect pa ents, staff and the public. This limits

our flexibility and that of our workers. In addi on, we have staff who work in support jobs and in social work or day-care situa ons which have closed. We also have staff who cannot work in frontline roles for personal or family reasons or who are self-isola ng.

What are your main challenges and how are you responding to these? Our primary concern is the safety of our staff, so we must provide support and be accessible for them at all mes. We operate an on-call service outside office hours so they can contact us at any me with clinical concerns or fears about their health. We also run video supervision sessions so they can talk freely to us. And we work closely with our clients to ensure that all our staff have full access to personal protec ve equipment (PPE). Like everyone else, we don’t know what the

future will bring, and we will need to reassess our risks regularly as things change, but we are posi ve that we can adapt, and that we will con nue to grow.

What will you learn from the crisis? Are there any solu ons to current problems that you will con nue to use in future? We are immensely proud of all our staff and of our team. Everyone has been working incredibly hard and achieving great results. The crisis has taught us how quickly things get done if people and organisa ons work together. It’s also been great for building rela onships with clients and they are recognising our contribu on to the sector. Video interviews and online training have worked brilliantly, and we will con nue to use these in future. The whole process is seamless, more accessible and much more efficient.

June-July 2020 Recruitment Ma ers


Products & training

Learn at home Make the most of lockdown with an REC online course With so many of us at home, now is the best me to invest in yourself. REC is offering a 25% discount on all our online recruitment courses. What sets REC's recruitment training apart is the quality and creden als of our recruitment trainers who have decades of experience between them. From beginners to experienced leaders, there is a course for everyone. Sign up for your selected training at Recruitment Management Management Essen als: Best suited to a recruitment consultant aspiring to become a manager. Learn how to perform the du es of a recruitment manager, iden fy and adapt different styles of leadership, and become an effec ve team leader. Advanced Management Skills: Enhance your leadership skills and improve your performance as a recruitment manager. Learn how to adapt to change, deal with poor performance and conflict, and how personal behaviour impacts team mo va on, performance and commitment. Balancing Act: Find the balance between managing a team and hi ng your targets. Focus on team leadership, performance management and delega on, and iden fy how a team leader or manager should organise and effec vely manage a team. Recruitment Fundamentals Introduc on to Recruitment Prac ce: Learn to develop successful client and candidate rela onships, recruitment

Recruitment Ma ers


The official magazine of The Recruitment & Employment Confedera on Dorset House, 1st Floor, 27-45 Stamford Street, London SE1 9NT Tel: 020 7009 2100

Recruitment Ma ers June-July 2020

selling, legisla on that affect recruitment and understand how the industry works. Candidate Sourcing and Management: Suitable for in-house and agency recruiters. Learn how to improve candidate a rac on and referral rates, gain insights on using social media and online job adver sing and develop communica on skills to help build and retain professional rela onships. Comprehensive Interviewer: Suitable for in-house and agency recruiters. Develop the skills needed to plan and conduct interviews, whether face-to-face or over the phone, to match the right talent with the right roles. Essen al Skills for Permanent Recruiters: Everything you need to know to run a permanent desk – the longterm recruitment process, taking job descrip ons and person specifica ons, developing client rela onships, a rac ng quality candidates and placing the right candidates into the right roles. Essen al Skills for Temporary Recruiters: Walk through every step of a temporary placement, from due process and legal requirements for temporary workers to finding the right candidates for the roles. Recruitment Markeঞng and Sales Mastering LinkedIn: Learn how to create and perfect your profile and engagement skills, and use LinkedIn to a ract new candidates and engage exis ng ones. Social Strategy and Branding: Understand how all recruiters need to use

social media to be brand ambassadors and really engage your audience. Successful Account Management: Establish a focused approach to managing important sales accounts and develop a greater understanding of your clients. Telephone Sales: Learn how to use the phone to build rela onships and win business using a posi ve and confident approach. Recruitment Law Understanding the Essen als. From GDPR to contract law and health and safety, learn about essen al legisla on that affects all recruitment prac ce. Recruitment Law: Advanced: Explore at a deeper level all essen al legisla on that affects recruitment prac ce, including the 2003 Conduct Regula ons, data protec on and the Employment Agencies Act. Recruitment Law: Managing PAYE Temp Workers: Learn about the statutory rights involved with payment and benefits for both workers and employees, family-friendly and working me legal rights, the principles of employing or engaging young workers, and the implica ons of the Agency Workers Regula ons. Recruitment Law: Supplying Limited Company Contractors and IR35: Learn about the different types of limited company contractor and the implica ons for contractors, the employment business and hirers.

Membership Department: Membership: 020 7009 2100, Customer Services: 020 7009 2100 Publishers: Redac ve Publishing Ltd, Level 5, 78 Chamber Street, London E1 8BL Tel: 020 7880 6200. www.redac Editorial: Editor: Ruth Pricke Produc on Editor: Vanessa Townsend Produc on: Produc on Execu ve: Rachel Young rachel.young@redac Tel: 020 7880 6209 Prin ng: Printed by Precision Colour Prin ng © 2020 Recruitment Ma ers. Although every effort is made to ensure accuracy, neither REC, Redac ve Publishing Ltd nor the authors can accept liability for errors or omissions. Views expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of the REC or Redac ve Publishing Ltd. No responsibility can be accepted for unsolicited manuscripts or transparencies. No reproduc on in whole or part without wri en permission.

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